Characterization of Seat Lateral Support as a Mechanical Behavior 2020-01-0870
Seat lateral support is often talked about as a design parameter, but usually in terms of psychological perception. There are many difficulties in quantifying lateral support mechanically to the engineering teams: Anthropometric variation causes different people to interact with the seat in different places and at different angles, BPD studies are usually planar and don’t distinguish between horizontal support and vertical resistance to sinking in, most mechanical test systems are typically single-DOF and can’t apply vertical and horizontal loads concurrently, and there is scant literature describing the actual lateral loads of occupants. In this study, we characterize the actual lateral loading on example seating from various sized/shaped occupants according to dynamic pressure distribution. From this information, a six-DOF load and position control test robot (KUKA OccuBot) is used to replicate that pressure distribution. The effect of various sizes and shapes of indenters is explored. We suggest some mechanical methods to assess seat lateral support. We believe such testing will be useful in benchmarking, setting design goals and tracking progress towards those goals through the design process.